Throughout her stay at the institution, Susanna pays attention to her actions, trying to decide if the diagnosis was correct, or if the doctors were simply just trying to put a name to her common misbehaviors.
The most common symptoms of borderline personality disorder are an insecure sense of self, harmful and unconventional relationships, impulsive and dangerous behavior, jarring changes in emotions, and suicidal behavior. The first symptom of of borderline personality disorder that Susanna displays is an attempt at suicide by means of overdosing. After the scene in the ice cream shop, in which she is confronted by the wife of a man she had an affair with, it became clear that Susanna engaged in harmful, unconventional relationships with others. As the movie progresses and Susanna spends more time with the black sheep of the ward, Lisa, she begins to display other symptoms, such as reckless behavior and erratic changes in her mood. She begins to defy her nurses and therapists.
However, while the movie might be displaying the symptoms correctly based on the disorder, it can be said that Susanna engaged herself in the things that she did based on what she was learning from Lisa. The scene in the film that suggests this is when Lisa is about to take drugs and Susanna recoils from the image. There are other behaviors that Lisa displays that makes Susanna react in a way that would suggest that she does not have borderline personality disorder, as she is able to distinguish from harmful, reckless behavior and the proper way of facing a situation.
Susanna was often treated as though she were normal, like she did not belong in the institution. Her parents were the only people to honestly believe that something was wrong with their daughter. Even Valerie, the nurse that attends to Susanna, seems to believe that whatever is